In case you were thinking “Oh, I feel like next weekend will be a bit light on orange” and you needed a baking project because well, not enough sweets are coming your way, I’ve got you covered. Don’t thank me, I’m considerate like that.
It’s only fair that I would post a carrot cake recipe while I’m at Uncle Sam’s. You see, in France we do know about carrot cake, but some, like say my father-in-law, will never in a million years consider tasting it. Carrot in a cake? Thanks but no thanks. We’re still at that first stage of culinary evolution, don’t be too hard on us. I for one I’ve been having carrot cake on a fairly regular basis since I was a child, when my great-aunt would make its fatty creamy layered version every time we had a family gathering. I remember simultaneously being attracted to and repulsed by it.
This is not that. For one thing, it’s nothing to be repulsed about. I mean, unless you’re repulsed by vegan desserts, in which case you should seriously reconsider your visits to this blog –and your acquaintance with me, in case there is one. I mean, vegan desserts are probably the most fun part of vegan anything. You get to bake with no eggs and no butter! It doesn’t get much more fun that that, if you ask me.
I don’t know, it might just be me.
Also, this carrot cake is not one bit fat, on the contrary; it feels like a moderately spiced pillow of fall with a little cloud of exoticism on top. I still haven’t met one person who thought it was only okay. The general reaction to the first bite was rather hyperbolic, followed by an existential crisis of the “how am I ever going to be able to stop” type.
Let’s talk for a minute about coconut frosting: it’s.the.real.deal. I’m so in love with this invention –and with my first actual successful attempt at coconut whipped cream– that I could scream with joy. Oh the possibilities that suddenly open up to me… So many layered and fluffy vegan cakes in my future. If I needed anything else to convince me that butter is now obsolete, this is it (Please, do not hate me for saying that, I still very much care about you, butter.)
See you on the other side of the ocean!
Note: If you couldn’t care less about my butterless life rant, feel free to move on to a more traditional carrot cake.
Vegan carrot cake with coconut frosting
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 – 30 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
For the cake:
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) rice milk (or other vegetable milk)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup cassonade
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (or more to taste)
- 4.5 oz (130 g = about 1/2 cup) unsweetened quality applesauce
- 1 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp (240 g) flour
- heaping 1/2 cup (50 g) rolled oats
- 7 oz (200 g) grated carrots
For the frosting:
- 1 (15 oz) can coconut cream (not milk!), refrigerated overnight
- 2 tbsp vegan friendly confectioners’ sugar (or more to taste)
- 1 few chopped hazelnuts, to decorate
1. Preheat oven at 350°F. Grease a square 8″ cake pan.
2. To make the cake: In a large bowl, whip together the rice milk, oil, applesauce, vanilla, rice vinegar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, until smooth. Gradually whip in the flour, until smooth, then the oats, until incorporated. Finally, stir in the grated carrots. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until an inserted blade comes out of the cake almost clean. Let cool to remove from pan, then let cool completely.
3. To make the icing: with an electric mixer or a stand mixer, beat the chilled coconut cream until it firms up, then add the confectioners’ sugar until smooth and firm as whipped cream. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.
4. To assemble: If you’d like your cake to look particularly fancy, you can slice off the sides of your square cake, and discard (meaning: gobble them.) Spread the icing on top of the cake, then sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and serve at room temperature, or refrigerate in an airtight compartment until ready to serve. Remove from refrigerator 10 minutes before serving.
- I more than halved the sugar measurements here, since I don’t like my desserts to be too sweet. Everyone loved it anyway, but feel free to double the amount of sugar if you’re used cakes that are on the sweeter side.
- This cake is also great served plain without icing (especially as a breakfast cake…)
- This recipe is magical: you can refrigerate your iced cake for 3-4 days in an airtight compartment without altering its quality.